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Native Science and Western Science: Possibilities for a Powerful Collaboration

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Native Science and Western Science: Possibilities for a Powerful Collaboration


Published 20110324


LEROY LITTLE BEAR, Head of the SEED Graduate Institute, former Director of the American Indian Program at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus of Native Studies at the University of Lethbridge delivers the Spring 2011 Simon Oritz and Labriola Lecture

"FOR ALBERT EINSTEIN, the business of science is 'reality'. The reality brought about by modern science is largely based on Western paradigms. Western paradigmatic views of science are largely about measurement using Western mathematics. But nature is not mathematical. Mathematics is superimposed on nature like a grid, then examined from that framework. It is like the land survey system: a grid framework of townships, sections, and acres superimposed on the land. These units are not part of the nature of the land. If science is a search for reality; if science is a search for knowledge at the leading edges of the humanly knowable, then there are 'sciences' other than the Western science of measurement. One of these other 'sciences' is Native American science." - Leroy Little Bear

Leroy Little Bear is a member of the Blood Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Canada). Head of the SEED Gradu­ate Institute, which seeks to integrate existing fields of learning, including science and cosmology as well as other disciplines, with Indigenous worldviews, he is former Director of the American Indian Program at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus of Native Studies at the University of Lethbridge where he was department chair for 25 years. Little Bear has served as a legal and constitutional adviser to the Assembly of First Nations and has served on many committees, commissions, and boards dealing with First Nations issues. In 2003, Little Bear was awarded the prestigious National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education, the highest honor bestowed by Canada's First Nations community. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doc­torate by the University of Lethbridge. He has written several articles and co-edited three books including Pathways to Self-Determination: Canadian Indians and the Canadian State (1984), Quest for Justice: Aboriginal Peoples and Aboriginal Rights (1985), and Governments in Conflict and Indian Nations in Canada (1988). He is also contributor to Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (UBC Press, 2000).

The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community at Arizona State University brings notable scholars and speakers to Arizona for public lectures twice per year. These speakers address topics and issues across disciplines in the arts, humanities, sciences, and politics. Underscoring Indigenous American experiences and perspectives, this series seeks to create and celebrate knowledge that evolves from an Indigenous worldview that is inclusive and that is applicable to all walks of life.

Sponsored by Arizona State University's American Indian Policy Institute; American Indian Studies Program; Department of English; Indian Legal Program in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law; Labriola National American Indian Data Center; Faculty of History in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies; and Women and Gender Studies in the School of Social Transformation; with tremendous support from the Heard Museum.

Recorded Thursday, March 24, 2011, 7:00 P.M.
Location: Heard Museum, (2301 N Central Ave Phoenix, Arizona)


Run time 92 minutes 51 seconds
Producer ASU Libraries
Production Company Arizona State University Libraries
Audio/Visual sound, color

Credits

Director: Matthew Harp
Editor: Damir Pecenkovic
Producer: Jennifer Duvernay
Executive Producer: Philip Konomos
Executive Sponsor/University Librarian: Sherrie Schmidt

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